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tv   [untitled]    August 11, 2012 2:00am-2:30am PDT

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there ought to be at least some shadow analysis. the should be consideration to having a mexican museum of similar height with the jewish community museum in st. patrick's church. when i was present on the redevelopment commission in the 70's, it was my pleasure to help preserve the ehrenson building and the jesse street station. hopefully we can have a mexican museum that ties into the square with reduced shadow impacts. thank you. >> good afternoon. i am here to lend my support to the mexican museum and power. i have been down in yerba buena for over 20 years, and we have long waited this project. many of us see millennium as
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coming in to save the day. we are all very confident in millenium to work with the community, as they have in the last 10 or 15 years they have been down here. also, i would like to point out that it has been my observation that the success of yerba buena has been the true mix of arts, cultural, retail, other businesses, and residential. these are the stakeholders' that have helped make yerba buena a success. president fong: thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners. my name is linda lou cerro -- lucero. i am the president of the arts festival in the yerba buena gardens. i fully support this project.
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it is one of san francisco's jewels, but yerba buena will not be complete without the long- awaited mexican museum. i have full confidence that the issues raised in the eir can be worked out by the mexican museum and the millennium partnership, to everyone's satisfaction. thank you very much. president fong: is there any additional public comment? >> good afternoon. i am the president of the tonko group in yerba buena. i am the president of the neighborhood consortium. the 30 years that yerba buena and the gardens have been under development, the priority in environmental impacts for our community of 2000 elders and disabled persons, and the other residents, has been pedestrian safety.
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when i got this draft eir, i turned to look at the very important cumulative impact assessment for pedestrians. there has not been one done in any eir for a decade, although there have been many projects built, and more coming. target opening will certainly have an impact. there is no assessment of cumulative pedestrian impacts in this eir. that is legally inadequate. more importantly, it does not give you the information you need to decide what this project should do by way of mitigation. you know certainly that the pedestrian traffic in the district is very substantial. it peaks during special events in the gardens and major conventions. it is overwhelming. it is a real problem. the original plan for the gardens has a second mid block
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pedestrian crossing that would go from the center of the arts to city square. that was done to have a good functional connection between the institutions, of course. but it was also to accommodate the very large crowds that come through the gardens. because all the convention traffic and much of the rest defaults to fourth street, fourth street is badly overwhelmed. we need an updated assessment of the situation at fourth and mission, as well as third and mission. the eir should have done that. it did not do that. although i know redevelopment is gone, this is the final project that builds the last undeveloped site in yerba buena, going back almost 50 years. it is our last chance to finish the job the right way. the second mid block crossing was always planned. it was always needed.
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the first one, to the west, did not get built until about eight years ago, due to opposition from various bureaucrats and lack of funding. this development needs to fund its construction. there are congestion and pedestrian safety impacts. it is a safety issue. thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i am the lead curator and the dollar coordinator, and i support this project. -- in thand the gallery coordin, and i support this project.
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i think this will bring tourism, art tourism, into the city. we need more tourism, and this will help with that. thank you. president fong: thank you. is there any additional public comment? >> hello. my name is terry. i work for a resident who lives at the four seasons. he is in a wheelchair. i wanted to follow up on the comments about pedestrian traffic. with him being in a wheelchair, it is very hard for him to cross at in the intersection, because the lights are not long enough for him to get across the street. with the increase in traffic, it is almost going to be impossible. if they need to get more traffic, the lights are going to be even shorter.
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i would like to see the study investigate pedestrians and people in wheelchairs' for further study. thank you. >> my name is roberta hernandez, and i cannot tell you how excited i am. as some of you know, i was involved with the mexican museum as a kid, growing up in the mission district, when it was on folsom st.. i have been involved in different aspects throughout the years. it has been a dream. the dream is coming alive to finally get the mexican museum built. we know there are some challenges, but i do not think there is anything that cannot be worked out. i think we all come together in a circle and the other. this is the last piece, the very last piece.
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they say we come last, but we come as the best. we look forward to working with everybody in san francisco to make this last piece the best in that area. gracias. president fong: any additional public comment? seeing none, commissioners? commissioner moore: the public has voiced concerns about the eir which i fully support. one, which is obvious, is the increase in congestion, and cumulative effects of traffic impairment in the project area. i would like to mention that there is no mention in the draft eir regarding five years traffic chaos while they build the central subway, which has to be taken into consideration,
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regardless of the timeline of the project, which is uncertain when we do 1 eir. i do not see reference to the large museum of modern art, which will increase pedestrian impact in the area. we are also planning to expand the convention center. i think will not have only significantly larger conventions, but traffic impacts, which nobody ever wants to talk about. if we want to make san francisco say for pedestrians, a comprehensive pedestrian movement plan has to be completed in tandem with this eir, and answer all the questions which were raised. the issues are larger and further reaching. if you reactivate three or four theaters all at once, you will have people wandering from one
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activity to another, including doing some shopping at a target on the way. as we are trying to add restaurants, as we are trying to add other attractions to the area, this whole district will transform in a manner we do not understand quite yet. i would like to remind all of you, and i struggle with it often, when i come down kern the street, -- kearny street, people are overwhelming the bus stop, which forces me to walk on the roadway, because there is no way of getting through. with children strollers and elderly people with walkers, it is impossible to get through. add the number of residents proposed for the tower and the visitors coming to the museums and the population who wants to
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go to target. we need to force ourselves to look ahead and see the transformation of the district in a much more comprehensive and cumulative way. one thing the eir unfortunately does not do, and it is important to me personally, is a visual analysis of new buildings that have already been approved, such as the museum tower, which will change the skyline in this area. it will change the view coming from the south of third street. what does it look like with the new museum tower and this call proposed building? i would also like to request that we reflect on skyline goals, which we all looked at in the early 70's. we never wanted to block our view it just by tall buildings creating a funnel, where we do not see the jagged edge of the
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sky in between. some of those visual analysis principles are not observed any more, and i am disturbed by that. i believe the increase of shadow on union square which is further reaching, and i am glad that people eloquently spoke about that this particular project needs to address it in a more serious manner than casually noting that there will be shadow. we have a shuttle ordinance. we need to figure -- a shadow ordinance. on the cake. i want to be very clear about that. i do believe that this e.i.r. needs to address a project which performs within the limitations that the code and the rules as they exist pose for us, and then we can talk about everything else.
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i just need to put that to record, because that is personally important to me, and i think i believe that's one of the reasons why i sit here. president fong: commissioner antonini. commissioner antonini: thank you. some things i'm hearing from the comments and my readings. there were comments about the lack of traffic analysis in the a.m. again, i'm not saying that it's not in there, but i will re-read it in greater detail to make sure it's not there. it could be a good point to address in comments and responses. and then the other issue that was raised and one that i think, again, might be in there but should be addressed is replacement of the parking will be lost, because i understand part of the garage is going to be used for the residential parking for the tower. so how are we going to offset that? that's something we want to look at. nelson spoke about the right
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turn from market to 4th, and i'm not quite sure whether that was traffic coming on market or traffic coming from stockton, crossing market and going to 4th, which probably is the larger impact, i would think, because i believe now some of the eastbound traffic on market is already somewhat restricted. so i don't know how much of an impact that causes. then we did talk about the impacts of shadows and particularly union square, but mention was made of jesse square also. from what i'm reading and what i see in the report the analysis of the shadows seem to be well done and very, very adequately addressed. however, there's a separate issue of should we increase the allowance? but that's not an e.i.r. issue, it's an issue that comes up at a time when, if there were necessary to be a shadow allowance change, then we have to find public benefits and other things that are taken
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into account when we look at shadow allowances through rec, park and other avenues that are open to us. but i don't believe -- what we're looking at now is, is it analyzed properly. shadow impact is an important mention there. although this may not necessarily be the subject of the e.i.r., the mention of a second block crossing between 3rd and 4th on mission, in addition to the one that occurs at yerba bueno lane has to be addressed. if it's a mitigation for anticipated traffic that might be higher and thereby general rating higher pedestrians needs, then it might be appropriate to answer that in comments and responses also.
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of course, they did a lot of different variance of heights and different things that's been brought up. and then finally what commissioner moore brought up, looking at the cumulative looks visually, the expansion of the moma and perhaps some visualization with new buildings that we would assume are going to be in place have already been approved, some of which might be close to going under construction might be good to at least note that a little bit and see what the appearance looks like when those are in place. that's mostly what i'm hearing. there may be other things, and certainly another re-read is the thing, but it seems to be a thorough and complete e.i.r. at this point. but there's always need to address other things, because that's what comments and responses are all about. so that will be very interesting to see how those come out.
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>> commissioner sugaya. commissioner sugaya: yes. i know staff is not here to answer questions, but maybe this question can be answered. can i have some idea of what the schedule is for the comments and responses document to be completed? and that brings up the other question of we will be hearing the final e.i.r., which would be the comment and responses document together with the draft at the same time that we are going to be considering project approval, thus, the usual format. so i assume that's still in effect for this. but if we could hear what the projected -- if you have an estimated time for -- >> i don't have a specific time frame at this moment. i've only received a handful of moments, because typically the comments come in at the end. so based on whether we have to do -- based on the work that the c & r would require, that's
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when we would set the schedule up. >> i ask that question because -- this is a comment on the project, by the way, which has nothing to do with the e.i.r., but i'm going to make it anyway. given the testimony that we've heard, especially with respect to shadows on union square, i think the project sponsor needs to seriously consider lowering the height of this building. i think it's disingenuous to try to -- this is not going to come out right, but i can see what the public benefit statement is going to be. the statement of overriding considerations on the shadow on union square is going to be that we're going to get the mexican museum. we're going to get additional housing. we're going to get all this stuff. and the developer is going to say they can only do that because they have to have the height in order to make it all work. so we're going to be pitted between the people who want to
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keep the shadows to a minimum at union square and those people who are going to be supporting the mexican museum. and that's going to be the crux of the hearing. i can tell you that's what's going to happen right now, and i do not like that scenario and i do not want that scenario to happen. president fong: commissioner wu. commissioner wu: i share the concerns of commissioner sugaya and wonder, where is the forum where we can talk about the shadow issue that's somewhat outside of e.i.r. but come to a place where we're not presented with that tension. so obviously there's that. with regards to the shadow and the e.i.r., i would be interested to know, are there any legal or feasible mitigations for shadows, or is it just -- are there none that exist within the ceqa world? president fong: commissioner
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moore. commissioner moore: as far as i know it's shadow or sun, those are the two alternatives. it's a tan or no tan. i'm sorry to say it that way. what i really feel -- and this is in support of what commissioner sugaya brought up -- that we're being led down a path where the inevitable shadow allows others to also have shadow, where there is already shadow, so they're making a little bit more shadow, and accumulatively we understand what the potential of shadow means or not. tourists and visitors come to san francisco because there is indeed sun, when it is not so sunny in other parts of the world, and while many peel assume we're los angeles and they show up in shorts -- we put a very beautiful cafe and renovation into union square which we are all proud of and pass through and it operates
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like an italian piazza. and this building will cast a shadow in the open-space area, right in front of the cafe, putting the entire cafe in shadows. i look at it with particular interest because you see all of the tourists having their breakfast, espressos, whatever they're doing, right in that sunny spot in union square. and now we are basically talking about shadow in this area. i think we need to find -- we need to choose our battles. we need to balance the need for housing appropriately scaled, appropriate-height housing, but also maintain the viability of the city. and i think the e.i.r. needs to come to terms with not hiding themselves behind the transit center in shadows, but they need to answer on its own how it basically works not within the confines of the cafe.
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it needs to be approved and examined on its own merit, and at this moment the e.i.r. says it would be ok to have a little bit more shadow. as far as a solution is concerned, all of us need to see an animated shadow study by which each building and the shadow center has its own shadow path and consequences. and then as you move along you combine all those buildings which create shadow with each other on down and determine what is acceptable or what is not. and i think the majority of people i talk to would like to keep union square as sunny as they can, because that is part of the kind of heart of the city. president fong: any additional comments? >> thank you.
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i would just restate that written comments will be accepted at the planning department until 5:00 p.m. on august 13, 2012. thank you. commissioners, you are now on item number 10, case number 2012.0637 b, 26th street. there's a request for discretionary review.
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>> afternoon, planning commission. i'm the southwest team leader. this proposal is to allow expansion of an existing one-story single-family residence. the construction will consist of a ground floor addition in the rear, a new second level and a new roof deck. the site is located in noise alley and subject to the rh-1 zoning district. the neighborhood consists primarily of one and two-story homes with -- the property is flanked by one and two-story homes. owners and residents from six properties on the block and across the street have submitted letters in support or not objecting to the proposed addition. the residential design team again reviewed the project and found the project to be consistent with residential design guidelines. the remplet e.d. determined that the setback and second
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floor addition were consistent with the setback of the adjacent building's second floor. also the corner notch at the front of the building will provide adequate light near to the property line window. it's been determined that the rear was consistent with the development pattern and mid-block open space. larger and deeper space do exist on the subject block. after the addition it was determined that the five-foot change in building depth would not have a negative impact on light and air, rear yard, privacy or interior spaces. they also determined that the height of the proposed addition to be consistent with the neighborhood pattern of two and three-story buildings. the height, topography and slope of the street and exterior materials are compatible with stucco and wood, which is predominantly used in this neighborhood. the planning department has essentially determined that this addition will not create a significant adverse impact to the adjacent residences or block. the department finds this project has not demonstrated
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extraordinary circumstances, but the planning commission should not take discretionary review. this concludes my presentation. president fong: thank you. d.r. request, sir? you have five minutes. >> good afternoon, commissioners. my wife and my two daughters moved into 26th street approximately five years ago. i grew up and lived on the west side, but after getting married my wife loved the sun and couldn't handle the fog, so we decided to move east. when i first heard about noise valley i said no way, the gardens are too small, we have children, the places are too expensive. it doesn't work. the agent told me take a look at it. i went and looked at it and we fell in love with the house. we fell in love with the backyard. i've got photos there and i have some more photos here if
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you'd like to see them of my garden, the adjacent gardens. everybody really prides themselves on the open space and values. it's a sunny part of the city and we value that. my house was in the sunset and i was on the foggy side or my house was -- i'm sorry, i'm speaking a little fast because i'm a little nervous. but if my house was at a different orientation or if i lived in the sunset i probably wouldn't mind as much because it's foggy. i grew up there. i know exactly what it's like. we don't object to the project. i look forward to the development. in fact, i look forward to the developer putting in a really nice garden and complementing the rest of the houses. my biggest objection is the back side and what we call an open mid-block space. i'd like to preserve that. throughout this project and meeting with the contractor there's been a lot of misunderstandings and misinterpretations and misinformati.